As the media obsesses over Tiger Woods' mysterious car crash and alleged adultery with Rachel Uchitel, the persistently silent golfer pulled out of his own tournament, the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, CA, raising new questions. (Watch an AP report about Tiger Woods withdrawing.) Woods, who's been called "one of the last untarnished huge celebrities," continues to avoid law enforcement officers seeking information about the one-car fender bender—a seemingly minor offense that could be erased with a "$200 fine" and "four-hour driving class." Is continued silence really Woods's best move? Experts and non-experts alike offer a range of strategies:
Pull a Letterman: Woods "could learn a lot from [similarly scandal-rocked] David Letterman," says Associated Press writer Nancy Armour. While Woods is being cagey, "Letterman followed the No. 1 rule in crisis communication: Take control of the story." Because Letterman aired his dirty laundry himself, in public, what was a surefire "long-running tabloid cover story" has all but disappeared.
"Image gurus to Woods: Go public like Letterman"
Keep on "lying": Perhaps the most persuasive reason Woods should stay mum? To keep his wife, Elin, from being led away in handcuffs, says Hannah Rosin in Slate. If Elin really attacked him with a golf club "in a jealous rage," she would go to jail under Florida’s domestic-violence laws, even if Woods protested. Woods has said she "acted courageously" to save him—I’d stick with that "lie," if I were him.
"Tiger’s best reason to lie"
Consider a career change—to grammar teacher: "My chief interest in this story," says Michael Tomasky in The Guardian, "now rests in the fact that Woods…possesses highly admirable grammatical skills." In the statement Woods released on his Web site, he used "my family and me" correctly "where many half-educated nitwits would say 'my family and I.'" His punctuation skills, understanding of appositives, and grasp of pronoun use are outstanding.
"The excellent grammar of Tiger Woods"
Do nothing: This tawdry "saga" could be the best thing that happened to Woods, says Christine McConville in the Boston Herald. His "die-hard fans” don’t care what you do off the golf course, and three of his major corporate sponsors have announced they're standing by him. Besides, a sexy mystique might add humanizing edge to Wood's blandly "perfect image."
"Tiger Woods’ slam could help career"
SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST ON TIGER WOODS:
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• The Tiger Woods scandal grows
• Tiger Woods' sex scandal?
• Who is Rachel Uchitel? A timeline of the alleged mistress's life